Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Cherry Chocolate Bars

So, I signed up for this monthly dessert challenge at the Lady Behind the Curtain's Dessert Challenge .  Two featured ingredients each month, starting off with chocolate and cherries which just happen to be two of my favorite flavors.

Mother made the absolute best cherry cobbler although sadly, she never wrote it down.  I am determined to recreate it ... but that's a story for another day.

A quick search of on-hand provisions revealed a jar of cherry preserves and a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips.  Some of the easiest and tastiest desserts are simple squares, a sweet filling over a shortbread kind of crust.  Here is my first try at combining the two featured ingredients ...

Cherry Chocolate Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter
1 cup cherry preserves
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
powdered sugar

Combine flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl.  Add butter slices and cut in with a pastry blender until crumbly.  Set aside one cup of flour mixture.

Lightly spray a 11 x 7-inch baking dish with a nonstick cooking spray.  Press remaining flour mixture evenly onto bottom of dish.  Bake at 350 degrees  for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool slightly.

Place cherry preserves in microwave 15-20 seconds to get a nice, spreading consistency; spread evenly over crust.  Sprinkle chocolate chips over cherries.

Stir walnuts into reserved crumb mixture; sprinkle evenly over on top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes until browned.  Place on wire rack to cool completely.  Dust with powdered sugar and cut into squares.

And the best thing about this odd-shaped baking dish is that I have to trim the ends away in order to cut into squares.
Someone has to sample it ...  waste not, want not.    

Also linking to:
Six Sisters' Strut Your Stuff Party

Lady Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge